Home Review: Run for Redemption in Neon White

Review: Run for Redemption in Neon White

We’re back running, jumping, and shooting in Neon White. We reviewed the original release a ways back, and we were happy to return for a second run. Annapurna Interactive, known for publishing games such as Stray, Outer Wilds, and Flower released this speed demon of a game. Let’s gear up and hit the ground running. Angel Matrix — a fitting name — developed this Heavenly game.

Neon White Xbox Trailer

Neon White‘s Story of Redemption

Neon White‘s title character awakens in Heaven with no memories to tell him how he got there. He knows that he’s done some terrible things, and the promise of redemption pushes him to follow orders. The messengers of Heaven tell the Neons — Heaven’s word for sinners who get to perform their dirt work — that if they defeat an incoming demon horde, they can stay in Heaven. The demons of Hell grow in number every year and threaten to overrun Heaven, and who better to send to war than sinners?

Neon White Key Art

White is more than happy to tear apart demons and achieve the redemption his soul calls out for. He’s not the only Neon running and gunning in Heaven though. The crazy waifu Neon Violet is happy to slaughter everything with him, his supposed buddy Neon Yellow is happy to have a beer with him, and the mysterious and cool waifu Neon Red seems keen to forget their shared past. Neon Green — Heaven’s previous champion — waits for them at the end, and White has a score to settle with him.

Neon White Runs and Guns in Heaven

Neon White gameplay

Neon White is a speedrunner game that non-speedrunners can enjoy. It’s like Sonic says, you gotta go fast. Players will quite literally run and gun at the same time. Cards that grant limited access to different weapons are scattered along the path players run through. Some equip pistols, others machine guns, and so on. These cards can also be discarded to use a secondary trait. For instance, the pistol can be discarded to perform a second jump, and the machine gun can fire a bomb that does an area of effect attack white giving White a boost.

Many stages have demons that must be eliminated before the exit will unlock. These can be defeated fairly quickly. However, players will need to keep an eye on the clock. The faster the level is cleared, the better. Even if they’re not perfect, if they’re fast enough, a guide will unlock that will show players the optimal path to take.

Outside of this, White can get to know his friends even better by giving them gifts he picks up from stages. Through this, side quests can be unlocked. For instance, giving Violet two gifts unlocks a side quest that forces White through a level straight out of Mario Maker. Sniper demons and floor spikes everywhere.

The Art of Neon White

The characters have a white complexion that I’ve previously likened to the art style popularized by the artist Patrick Nagel, which was used to great effect in Rob Lowe’s cartoon series Moonbeam City. The masks and hair colors help differentiate the characters. For instance, Neon Red has red hair and a mask with red markings. She also has very pretty clothes, befitting the cool and mysterious waifu archetype.

Neon White Cutscene

The demons look like what one would imagine, they’re dark demons that go down in a few hits. Some are large and obvious jump obstacles. The stages are laid out so that even casual players know which way to go. Heaven itself looks as divine as ever, and it’s fun to explore the small slices of it in different levels.

The Sounds of Neon White

This game is fully voiced by exceptional actors. White himself is voiced by the legendary Steve Blum. The sound effects — from footsteps to bullets being fired from their chambers — bring the game to life. Everything is music to the ears, especially the actual music. It’s satisfying to shoot a demon and hear it get banished from the upper realm.


This game is just incredibly fun to play. Not everyone is cut out to be a speedrunner. Frame-perfect jumps are just beyond what we mortals can regularly do. However, Neon White makes it possible. The game encourages us to try. It’s why players can restart missions with a single button press. When players get the hang of it, they’ll be surprised at what they’re accomplishing. I’m by no means a speedrunner or a pro gamer, but I cleared Violet’s first side quest, and so can you.

Neon White Victory Cutscene

Neon White is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
©Annapurna Interactive

Anime Corner was provided a review copy of the Xbox version of Neon White.

You may also like

The comments are temporarily unavailable for maintenance.